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Web & Software Development: A Legal Guide with CDROM (Legal Guide to Web & Software Development) 4th Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1413300871
ISBN-10: 1413300871
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An amazing book! Answers nearly every legal question you can imagine and some you would have never thought of. -- John Dvorak, PC Magazine

Covers every imaginable detail important to such a rapidly growing and intangible medium. -- Entrepreneur

This book passes my own personal test for legal guides --with higher marks than any other legal guide. -- Jeff Duntemann, Editor, PC Techniques Magazine

About the Author

Stephen Fishman received his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1979. After stints in government and private practice, he became a full-time legal writer in 1983. He has helped write and edit over a dozen reference books for attorneys. He is the author of Software Development: A Legal Guide, Copyright Your Software, The Copyright Handbook, Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements, Wage Slave No More: Law & Taxes for the Self-Employed, and Hiring Independent Contractors: The Employer's Legal Guide, all published by Nolo.
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Product Details

  • Series: Legal Guide to Web & Software Development
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 4th edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413300871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413300871
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book/CD ROM combination covers intellectual property from a developer's (and buyer's) perspective. It is both a tutorial in the basics and is filled with useful advice about all relevent issues, including employee and contractor agreements, trade secret protection, copyright rights (assignment, ownership and related issues), and how to protect all parties in a fair and equitable manner.It covers contemporary issues such as domain names, web content and multimedia, making it especially useful to technical and non-technical readers.
In addition to clear explanations of complex topics and sound advice, this book comes with a CD ROM with a wealth of forms in RTF format (which can be edited in Microsoft Word and most other word processing programs). These 30 forms cover employee and contractor agreements, software and web development agreements, nondisclosure agreements, copyright assignments and license agreements and how to handle publicity releases and promotional materials in multimedia format. The latter is particularly challenging because not only are names involved, but photos and often voice and video files for which you need permission to use if you don't own it or it becomes a privacy issue. If you perform or contract for web or software development, including content, then you need this book.
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Format: Paperback
One of the problem with this industry is that they do not prepare programmers for the realities of business. This book is an eye opening review of the considerations that must be considered when programmers must work the business side of what they do.
Although there is a lot of attention paid to intellectual property law, there is a lot of good information for the consultant to read. The rest of the book is about agreements and contracts, which every contractor needs. With the samples on the CD, it provides solid guidelines on the business of programming!
If you are a consultant, especially an independent consultant, they why don't you have a copy of this book??
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By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is simply the best book on the subject. It appears to have been recently updated from the older version, with much new info. The strenght of this book is it doesn't go into "legalese" - instead, the caveats of software development are explained in plain english. If you are entering into a legal software development contract, this book is a necessity and worth it's price many times over. Great for the small developer, not just the big shops!
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Format: Paperback
There is a lot of good information and discussion in this book about the topics which a contract should cover. It falls down, however, when it comes to the actual contracts. Just comparing the website and the custom software contracts, there are differences where there shouldn't be. In the software contract, it's the Customer, in the website contract, it's the Client. A bit more than half of the contract sections with (mostly) identical headings and purpose have unexplained differences between them. Many of these differences are not trivial. In the text, the contracts are interleaved with explanations, but often the commentary/annotations are just restatements of the contract itself, which is a real time-waster, especially if you've read the background material earlier in the book. Other occasional editing snafus include explanatory comments inside the contract text, formatting syntax commands on the page (END SECTION), and a less than clear and concise structure for indicating optional clauses (the intended combinations aren't always clear, even though customization is to be expected). Given the fuzzy line between a website and a web application (ie 'custom software' (and really, what website is NOT custom?)), and given the marked similarities in over half of the two contracts, why not cover the overlapping sections just once, instead of twice, but inconsistently? And the sections that don't overlap, or overlap badly? No real explanation as to the reasons for the differences. I hope I don't have the same problems with the two versions of the independent contractor agreement. Fishman has written a pile of legal books for the layman, including the more recent "Consultant And Independent Contractor Agreements 5th Edition". I have to wonder: "Quantity over quality?Read more ›
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By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Answered all of my questions and was surprisingly up to date. It would be nice if there were more material on open source legal issues, however.
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